The Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office says a State Police investigation has confirmed a landlord and tenant dispute in the Town of Owasco in November was not a hate crime.
Community action groups raised the concern following the incident at the home rented by Jeffrey Richardson, who is black, and Lisa Bachman. The initial investigation by the Sheriff’s Office led to multiple charges against 50-year old Eric Simmons. He allegedly drove a tractor onto the property, planted a sign on the lawn and fired a shotgun blast in the air. He was later found to be in possession of a number of firearms.
Sheriff David Gould said in a press release his office met with the groups and District Attorney Jon Budelmann to discuss the concerns that the incident was fueled by race-based hatred.